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Full text of "Missouri State Rehabilitation Council for the Blind Annual Report 2011"

Missouri State 'Refla6iCitation 
CounciCfor the 'BCvnd 






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JAnnuat 'Report 2011 
October i, 2010 - September 30, 2011 




201 1 ANNUAL REPORT 



(purpose 




The purpose of the State Rehabilitation Council for the 
Blind includes, but is not limited to: 



Act as a forum through which citizens with blindness, 
parents, providers, and other interested Missourians can 
voice their opinions and constructive criticisms, make 
recommendations and give public recognition for services 
being performed on their behalf by RSB; 

Serve jointly with RSB in its activities to improve the 
services, programs and facilities for individuals with 
blindness and visual impairments; 

Receive from RSB information concerning the intents and 
objectives of RSB so that the Council, in turn, can pass 
this information on to individuals with blindness. 



"Just because a man Cactus the use of His eyes doesn't mean fie Cactus vision. " 



Stevie Wonder 



Picture on Front cover: by Kevin McCoy 

The Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, including the Gateway Arch and the Old Courthouse in St Louis MO. 

Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unpolled 



201 1 ANNUAL REPORT 



HabCe of Contents 




Purpose 


2 


Letter from the Chairperson of the SRC 


4 


Message from the Deputy Director of RSB 


5 


Functions of the SRC 


6 


Success Story of Alix Johnston 


7 


Council Members 


8 


Committees 


9 


The Year in Review 


10 


Success Story of Joshua Griffith 


11 


Missouri RSB Funding Sources 


12 


Most Common VR Services Provided 


13 


Public Forums 


14 


Consumers Served 


15 


Consumer Satisfaction Survey Results 


16 


Success Story of Marisa Clary 


17 


Standards and Performance Indicators 2010 


18 


Success Story of Robin Dunlap 


20 


Vision For The Future 


21 


District Map 


22 



Letter From the Chairman of the 
State (Rehabilitation CounciC 




Dear Fellow Missourians: 



As Chair of the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC), it is my 
honor to submit, with my colleagues, the 2011 Annual Report. 
The SRC is responsible for reviewing, analyzing and advising 
Missouri Rehabilitation Services for the Blind (RSB), an agency in the Missouri 
Division of Family Support (DFS), on its policies and provision of rehabilitation 
services to Missourians who are blind or visually impaired. This council is 
dedicated to working with RSB to assist visually impaired Missourians to become 
self-supporting and fully participating members of society. 

The US Department of Labor reported an unemployment rate among working-age 
people with disabilities of 71.4% in 2010. This rate of unemployment, along with 
increased incidence of diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration, 
demonstrates the critical role that RSB plays in the lives of visually impaired 
Missourians. Improved results from RSB during these challenging times show that 
RSB and its leadership are committed to its purpose and to meeting the growing 
challenges facing our fellow citizens. 

I offer sincere appreciation to the honorable Jay Nixon, Governor of the State of 
Missouri, Missouri businesses and other stakeholders for their support in creating 
an environment so that people with vision loss can realize their full potential. 

It is the council's goal that this report provides an informative overview of the 
activities of RSB and we would be pleased to answer any questions about this 
report, the operations of RSB, or the work of the council. 

Respectfully Submitted, 



Clay C. Berry 

State Rehabilitation Council Chairman 
Director of Education & Rehabilitation 
Alphapointe Association for the Blind 



Message from the (Director of the 
(Rehabilitation Services for the (Blind 



Dear Fellow Missourians: 

Today we have the capability to help all persons with disabilities overcome the 
barriers resulting from their disabilities. Today it is possible for virtually every person 
with a disability to work. Today the barriers resulting from disabilities can be 
eliminated through compensatory training techniques, accommodations, remediation 
strategies, barrier removal, and other measures. Today through such efforts 
individuals with disabilities can realize their potential in society. Beyond the physical, 
communication, and attitudinal barriers that persons with disabilities confront, it is 
also the beliefs and actions of people with disabilities themselves. To fulfill one's 
potential we must come to value ourselves with the highest regard, set our goals 
high, and be determined to overcome whatever barriers we encounter. 

With the understanding that no database is perfect; according to the 
Department of Labor, in 2010, the employment-population ratio — the proportion of the 
population that is employed — in the age group of 16-64 was 28.6 percent for persons 
with a disability. Among those with no disability in the age group of 16-64 the ratio 
was much higher (69.7percent). Across all age groups, persons with a disability were 
much less likely to be employed than those with no disability. According to the 
American Community Survey, 35.6% of those in Missouri reporting a vision loss 
between the ages of 21-64 were employed. Meeting the challenge: We can set our 
goals higher; we can be determined to overcome barriers to employment; and we can 
unfetter the environment so people will flourish and realize their full potential. 

During this FFY 2011 Family Support Division/Rehabilitation Services for the 
Blind (RSB) served a total of 4,329 individuals with blindness and severe visual 
impairments in the vocational, independent living (including independent living for 
older individuals who are blind), and children's programs. Additionally, RSB screened 
2,838 individuals for high pressure inside the eye (intraocular pressure); an important 
aspect of risk from glaucoma; and provided case management services to 513 in the 
Prevention of Blindness program. Gross sales from the Business Enterprise Program 
topped 38 million dollars, employing 916 persons (figures include one military 
installation). During the federal fiscal year 2011 , RSB assisted 269 Missourians with 
blindness to successfully achieve their chosen employment goal through services 
designed to eliminate their barriers to employment. Twenty-five of those were self- 
employed. 

In closing, I along with the State Rehabilitation Council for the Blind offer our 
earnest appreciation to the Governor of the State of Missouri, Missouri businesses 
and other stakeholders for their support in creating an environment so that people 
with disabilities will flourish and realize their full potential. 

Sincerely, 

Mark Laird, Rehabilitation Services for the Blind, Deputy Director 



SRC 



201 1 ANNUAL REPORT 



Functions 



The SRC's functions include, but are not limited to, 
acting in partnership with RSB to: 



Review, analyze, and advise RSB regarding RSB's performance of 
responsibilities, relating especially to eligibility for Vocational Rehabilitation 
(VR) services; the extent, scope and effectiveness of VR services that 
RSB provides; 

Assist RSB with the development and review of the State 
goals and priorities; 

Assist in the preparation of the State plan, amendments 



/ 



f 



"All the people 
from <KS<3 were 
wonderful My 

counseCor was 
very supportive 

and made the 

whole process 
easy. I couldn't 
have been more 



to the plan, needs assessments, and evaluations; 

Conduct a review and analysis of the effectiveness of 
VR services and other functions performed by RSB 
through Consumer Satisfaction Surveys; 

Prepare and submit an annual report to the Governor 
of the State of Missouri, and Commissioner of the 
Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) of the 
U. S. Department of Education; 

Coordinate with other councils within the State; 

Advise RSB and provide for coordination in establishing 
working relationships between RSB and the Statewide 
Independent Living Council and Centers for Independent Living in 
Missouri; 

Select a pool of individuals to serve as impartial hearing officers for VR 
applicants and recipients who wish to appeal a decision of RSB. 







It takes more than eyesight to be successful 



JLtv^ Johnston 




Alix Johnston came to Rehabilitation Services for the Blind (RSB) in July 2010, 
after obtaining a diploma in Medical Coding and Billing from Missouri College. 
Prior to approaching RSB, she worked part-time in the retail industry making 
minimum wage. Ms. Johnston wanted to find employment consistent with her new 
skill set, capabilities, strengths and interests and earn a higher salary. Alix's 
vocational goal was to find a position at a call center 
in the health care industry. 

RSB VR Counselor, Karen Darby, provided job 
development assistance by searching websites of 
health care companies to match Alix's vocational 
goal, skills, and abilities with company needs. In 
addition, RSB partnered with the Starkloff Disability 
Institute, a community agency specializing in linking 
people with disabilities with employers. Through 
this partnership, Ms. Darby found the position of 
Customer Care Professional at the Centene 
Corporation. Ms. Johnston seemed to be a natural 
fit for the position because of her knowledge of 
medical terminology and positive attitude. 

RSB's Employment Specialist, Sharon Silverstein, assisted Ms. Johnston with the 
on-line application and on-line testing for job screening. RSB provided the 
company adaptive computer engineering service to assist the company to support 
an applicant and eventually an employee. Alix spent time job shadowing a 
Customer Care Professional to learn more about the everyday duties of this 
position. Centene managers agreed that she would be a good match for the 
position and hired Alix as a full-time employee making twice the hourly rate she 
made previously. She now has a full benefits package as well. 

Centene provides health care management services in eleven states. Alix is 
responsible for handling outbound and inbound calls from Medicaid customers 
around the country. She has to ask questions, listen well, take good notes, and 
input the information into her computer. RSB purchased the needed adaptive 
computer software and hardware including a Closed Circuit Television enabling 
Ms. Johnston to perform all of her job duties and meet the production demands of 
the company. Ms. Johnston is happy and says that the work is challenging, and 
never boring. 





201 1 ANNUAL REPORT 




The membership of the council is comprised of no more than 21 individuals 
appointed by the Governor, with the following representation mandated by the 
Rehabilitation Act. 

At least one representative from each of the following: 

• Statewide Independent Living Council 

. Parent Training and Information Center 

. Client Assistance Program 

. RSB Vocational Counselor 

. Community Rehabilitation Program service provider 

• State education agency responsible for the public education of students 
with disabilities 

. State workforce investment board 

. Disabilities group representing individuals who are blind 

• Representative of individuals who has blindness, has multiple 
disabilities, and has difficulty representing themselves due to disability 

. Business, labor and industry 

. Advocacy groups for individuals with blindness or other authorized 
representatives of individuals with blindness who are unable to 
represent themselves 

. Current or former recipients of VR services 

The Deputy Director of FSD/RSB as an Ex officio member. 



"Jill the people from <Zy(8 were wonderful. My counselor was very supportive 
and made the whole process easy. I couldn 't have Seen more pleased. " 

2011 <RS® Client 



201 1 ANNUAL REPORT 



Committees 




Evaluation Committee : Beverly Kaskadden - Chair 

The evaluation committee handles anything that the Council does to evaluate the 
performance and/or operation of RSB, such as surveys and annual reports. 

Governmental Affairs Committee : Russ McCampbell - Chair 

The governmental affairs committee works on things happening at the state and 
federal level and that are governmental in nature. 

Planning Committee : Ceil Callahan - Chair 

The planning committee's primary responsibility is the state plan and any other 
planning operation of the Council. The business network issues will be included 
in this committee. 

Membership Committee : Donna Borgmeyer - Chair 

The membership committee works on the membership status of Council 
members, as well as recruitment of potential new members. 

Program & Policy : Gene Fleeman - Chair 

The program policy committee handles new policy and or program items from 
RSB rather than waiting until the next Council meeting. 



"(Before f^B / had spent my previous years, going back^to the age of nine, as a common 
laborer. When that was taken away from me, I had nowhere to turn, no one to turn to and 

no hope [eft in tife of being of any use to mysetf and even [ess to others. Then someone 
mentioned Vocational 'RehabiCitation and it gave hope. JLs things proceeded, first one thing 

and then another, wouCdpuffme backdown. Then I met my counselor at ( R3 ( B, and job 

coordinator at (RS®, and they instittedin me a betiefthat I do make a difference. They stayed 

with me and I [earned much and I am witting to keep on trying to make a difference. Once 

again I woutdtike to thank^youfor this opportunity. " 

2011 %$<B Cdent 




201 1 ANNUAL REPORT 




• SRC approved the state plan. 

• Personalized the satisfaction survey resulting in response rates going up 
from 28% to 36%. 

. Automated case and fiscal management system is operational. 

. Annual discussion comparing the expense of holding public forums at 

different locations throughout the state vs. one location - consensus was that 
there was benefit in continuing to have different geographic locations given 
the difficulty with mobility that individuals with blindness experience. 

. District offices were asked to share regularly their success stories. 

• RSB is advised to maximize outreach to increase referral rates; suggested 
that students be contacted at younger ages to maximize awareness of RSB 
and services they might provide in the future for that student. 

. Emphasis on the Children's program and services to enhance transition. 

. Public forums were held quarterly in Kansas City, St Louis, Jefferson City and 
Springfield. Each had a speaker addressing relevant issues such as 
discussing the Business Enterprise Program, the new School of Education 
and Child Development (Drury University), benefits of a functional low vision 
exam (Mason Eye Clinic in Columbia), what it takes to get a job in today's 
marketplace, etc. 

• Researched the issue of client choice in choosing a service provider. 

• RSB asked to review how much direct service is provided by RSB Children's 
services and how they work in concert with other services to children who 
have low vision. 



' <c You have no idea how tRS® Has kept me employed and equipped me to continue with my master's 
degree with 94.1)1 I couCd not have done it at aCC. Thank^you alll" 

2011 %S® Client 



10 



It takes more than eyesight to be successful 




Joshua Griffith lost his eyesight at age 13 as a result of a viral infection and eye 
injury. The viral infection destroyed the retina in both of his eyes. He began to 
have difficulty accessing information while working as an Information Technologist 
II with the State of Missouri. Mr. Griffith was acquainted with RSB as he had 
received services many years ago that led to his employment with the State. He 
reapplied for RSB services in 2008. 

Mr. Griffith informed his Vocational Rehabilitation 
Counselor (VRC), Genny Asher-Witt, that he used 
JAWS to read the computer screen and access 
information. But, not all of the information was 
accessible, and that prevented him from completing 
some of his assignments independently. He also 
found it difficult to take notes while in meetings. RSB 
evaluated Mr. Griffith's equipment and training 
needs. The evaluation process revealed an 
additional need for Braille training to access 
information, and orientation and mobility training to 
meet his travel needs. 

RSB provided assistive technology 
equipment and rehabilitation 
engineering services to Mr. Griffith. 
RSB provided equipment such as a 
Braille display to use with the 
computer, and a PackMate for note 
taking. Mr. Griffith improved his 
travel skills working with RSB's 
Orientation and Mobility Specialist 
and received Braille training from a 
Rehabilitation Teacher. Mr. Griffith's 
knowledge of his equipment and his 
confidence grew; and as a result he 
received a promotion to Information Technologist III. 

Mr. Griffith states that none of his achievements would have been possible without 
the services and support of RSB. 





11 



Missouri Funding Sources 




GR=General Revenue 

BEST=Blind Education Screening and Testing program 



Vocational ^eha6i[itation (Vty Services 



Individuals who have blindness and visual impairments encounter some common 
barriers to employment. The services RSB provides compensate, accommodate or 
remediate barriers to employment for individuals who have blindness/visual 
impairments in Missouri. Rehabilitation Technology most frequently addresses 
issues related to access, storage and retrieval of print information. Diagnosis and 
Treatment of Impairment services enable clients access to needed visual health 
care and prescribed visual aids to maximize visual access of information. 
Transportation services address access/participation in vocational training and 
employment. Training services give attention to the lack of employment preparation 
and marketable employment skills. Maintenance services provide resources to 
meet subsistence living expenses to allow full participation in vocational 
rehabilitation services. 

12 



Most Common V^Services (provided 



• Rehabilitation Technology - 39.56% 

The systematic applications needed to meet the needs of individuals with 
disabilities; including Rehabilitation Engineering services, Assistive Technology 
devices and Assistive Technology services. 

• Diagnosis and Treatment of Impairments - 14.41% 

Corrective surgery or therapeutic treatment. Examination and services 
necessary for the prescription and provision of eyeglasses or visual aids, 
including visual training and other medical or medically related rehabilitation 
services. 

. Training -14.13% 

College/University training, occupational/vocational training, on the job training, 
basic academic remedial or literary training and job readiness training. 

. Transportation Services - 13.98% 

Travel related expenses that are necessary to enable eligible individuals to 
participate in VR services, including job placement. 

• Maintenance - 5.84% 

The monetary support provided for short term expenses of food, clothing and 



Rehabilitation Technology 
Diagnosis and Treatment 
Training 
Transportation 
Maintenance 




13 




201 1 ANNUAL REPORT 




The SRC has continued to hold public forums throughout the state which allows 
individuals who are receiving services and individuals who refer clients to RSB to 
voice opinions and concerns about the services of RSB. During federal fiscal 
year 2011, the SRC held public forums in the following locations: 

1 . Kansas City (November 201 0) 

2. Springfield (February 2011) 

3. Jefferson City (May 2011) 

4. St Louis (August 2011) 

Public Forum Topics Of Discussion: 

. The purpose of the Children's program, how staff work with the 
schools and when to refer a child. 

• A 5 year national employment outlook. How to utilize on-the-job 
training, internships and networking. 

. The scope and purpose of the Client Assistance Program. 

. How to communicate with your RSB Vocational Counselor to 
achieve educational and employment goals. 

Increasing Participation: 

In 2010 the SRC initiated a program to provide expert speakers at the public 
meetings. This program has educated the public and increased the knowledge of 
services that are available through RSB and other organizations. 2011 topics 
included: the Business Enterprise Program and the new School of Education and 
Child Development at Drury University in Springfield; a 5 year overview of growing 
career fields; and what a low vision eye exam means at the Mason Eye Clinic in 
Columbia. 

To assist those with difficulty traveling to public forums the Council established 
phone conferencing capabilities allowing anyone who would like to participate the 
opportunity. 



14 



201 1 ANNUAL REPORT 



Consumers Served 




During federal fiscal year 2011 , RSB opened 460 new cases and served a total of 
2,071 consumers in the Vocational Rehabilitation program. 

In federal fiscal year 2011, RSB successfully rehabilitated 269 Missourians in their 
employment goal. The following data profiles show those successful closures: 



Successful Closures 


Competitive Employment 


221 


Homemaker 


19 


Employment through the Business 
Enterprise Program 


4 


Self Employment 


25 


Total 


269 



Rehabilitation Rate 

83.54% in FFY 2011, 
up from 82.41% in FFY 2010. 

Self-employment Rate 

9.29% in FFY 2011, 
down from 13.86% in FFY 2010 

Average Hourly Wage at Closure 

$13.97 in FFY 2011, 
Up from $11.68 in FFY 2010 



The average annual 
earnings for a 
successfully 
Rehabilitated Client is 
$21,963 

The following is based 
on that amount: 

MO State Taxes Paid 
per Rehabilitated Client 
$1,093 

Federal Taxes Paid per 
Rehabilitated Client 
$2,556 

Total Taxes Paid per 
Rehabilitated Client 
$3,649 

Total Combined 
Yearly Taxes Paid by 
all Rehabilitated 
Clients $981,581 



15 




201 1 ANNUAL REPORT 



| Consumer Satisfaction Survey 



Consumer Satisfaction Surveys are administered to individuals after closing their 
Vocational Rehabilitation case with RSB. These surveys are administered on a 
monthly basis. Two different surveys are sent; one to individuals whose cases are 
closed in competitive employment and one to individuals whose cases were closed in 
any status other than competitive employment. 

The following is a selection of questions from the survey sent to consumers who were 
closed in competitive employment and their satisfaction rate. 

100% 

90% 
80% 
70% 
60% 
50% 
40% 
30% 
20% 
10% 

a My rehabilitation plan was individualized to meet my goal. 91% 

u RSB staff helped build my confidence in my abilities. 84% 

a Upon completion of my VR plan, I was prepared to seek employment. 85% 

h I am please with the overall outcome of my experience in the VR program 
provided by RSB. 89% 





91% 




Rd°/n 


85% 


89% 

































































































































Competitive Employment 
Survey Return rate of 33% Overall Satisfaction level 86% 

Status other than Competitive Employment 
Survey Return rate of 18% Overall Satisfaction level 77%. 



16 



201 1 ANNUAL REPORT 



Consumer Satisfaction Survey 




The following is a selection of questions from the survey sent to consumers who 
were closed in a status other than competitive employment and their satisfaction 
rate. 



100% 

90% 
80% 
70% 
60% 
50% 
40% 
30% 
20% 
10% 
0% 

















84% 




80% 


84% 


80% 





































































































My rehabilitation plan was individualized to meet my goal. 84% 

The services RSB provided were adequate to help me reach my rehabilitation 
goal. 80% 

RSB staff were knowledgeable about my needs as a person who is blind. 84% 

I am pleased with the overall outcome of my experience in the VR program 
provided by RSB. 80% 



Dear Members of Rehab Services for the Blind Board, 

I have had a case open with Springfield RSB since 1998. I 
have benefitted from the available services in the following 
ways: 

1 . Opportunity to earn a Bachelor degree from Drury 
University with support for tuition, tutors and technology 
assistance for my visual impairment. 

2. The positive experience to work with a mobility specialist and the latest 
mobility technology for individuals with visual impairments. 

3. Providing funding for employment location services. 

4. Securing a Job Accommodations specialist to aid in the creation of my own 
business and website using the latest computer technology and software. 

I want to thank you for your continued support of RSB, because through their 
unwavering dedication, I have been able to realize the beginning of my dreams. 



Best Regards, Marisa G Clary 



17 



TederaC Standards and (Performance Indicators for 

<F<Fr2010 



Evaluation standard 1 assesses VR's impact on employment. 
Standard 1 includes six performance indicators, three of which 
are primary indicators. 


RSB's 

Performance 


Standard 

Requirement 


1.1 Difference between the number of individuals exiting the VR 
program who achieved an employment outcome during the 
current performance period and the number of individuals 
exiting the VR program who achieved an employment 
outcome during the previous period. 


Exceeded 
previous 
period by 2 


Equal or 
Exceed 
previous 
Period 


1.2 The percentage of individuals exiting the program during the 
performance period who have achieved an employment 
outcome after receiving services. 


81.87% 


68.9% 


1 .3 The percentage who exit the VR program in employment in 
integrated settings with or without ongoing support services, 
self-employment, or BEP (Business Enterprise Program) 
employment with hourly rate of earnings equivalent to at least 
the federal or state minimum wage rate, whichever is higher, 
based on all the individuals exiting the program who have 
achieved an employment outcome after receiving services. 


91.56% 


35.4% 


1.4 The percentage of those individuals identified in indicator 1.3 
who have significant disabilities. 


99.59% 


89.0% 


1 .5 The ratio of the average hourly earnings of all individuals in 
competitive employment to the average hourly earnings of all 
employed in the state. 


.759 


.59 


1 .6 The difference in the percentage of individuals who at program 
entry reported their income as the largest single source of 
support, and the percentage that reported their personal 
income as the largest single source of support at program exit. 


23.36 


30.4 


Performance indicator 2.1 measures how successfully an 
agency is at ensuring that individuals from minority 
backgrounds have equal access to VR services (minority 
service rate compared to nonminority service rate). 






2.1 The ratio of the percent of individuals with a minority 

background to the percent of individuals without a minority 
background exiting the program who received VR services. 


.914 with 

98 
minorities 


.80 with 
equal or 
greater 
than 100 
minorities 



18 



Evaluation Standards and Performance Indicators fox 

( F ( F C £2010 



GENERAL INFORMATION 



There are a total of 80 state vocational rehabilitation agencies or commissions 
that provide rehabilitation services for individuals with disabilities in the United 
States and associated territories. Currently, 24 states have a separate vocational 
rehabilitation agency or commission that provides services exclusively for 
consumers who are blind or visually impaired. The skills of blindness are 
markedly different from the skills required by other disabled persons. The 
methodology of instructing the blind and confronting the issues of blindness in our 
society require the development of specialized service programs, with service 
delivery by specialized personnel. 

SUMMARY OF RSB PERFORMANCE 



Section 106 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, requires the 
Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) to establish evaluation standards 
and performance indicators for the vocational rehabilitation (VR) program that 
include outcome and related measures of program performance. RSB passed 5 
of the 6 federal performance indicators in standard 1. RSB passed the required 
minority service rate ratio in Standard and Indicator 2.1, but with less than 100 
minorities exiting the program did not meet the requirement in standard 2. RSB is 
in the top 5 separate blind agencies regarding federal outcome and related 
measures of program performance. 



r id hlXQ fltS ^^ served 4,842 individuals with blindness/visual 
impairments in 2011. 



1524 individuals were served in the Older Blind Independent Living 
Program and 732 closed successfully rehabilitated. 

513 individuals received case management services in the Prevention of 
Blindness Program, screening 2,838 individuals for intraocular pressure. 

The Vocational Rehabilitation Program served 2071 individuals, closing 
269 in successful employment. 

433 children received services in the Children's Services Program. 

301 individuals were served in the Independent Living Program and 101 
closed successfully rehabilitated. 

44 Business Enterprise Program facilities, including 1 military installation, 
employ 916 people, with gross sales at $38 million. 







It takes more than eyesight to be successful 



^obin <DunCap 



fill 



In May 2009 Robin Dunlap was unemployed and approached Rehabilitation 
Services for the Blind (RSB) for help rejoining the workforce. She was concerned 
that her unemployment benefits were going to expire. Since becoming a client of 
RSB, she lost her home to a fire. In addition, her glaucoma progressed, further 
decreasing her vision to 20/400. 

Taking care of her immediate need for housing became a priority. Her Vocational 
Rehabilitation Counselor, Amy Hall, provided information and referral to the local 
Independent Living Center and a local low cost housing program. She also 
encouraged Ms. Dunlap to contact the local Housing Authority. Despite the 
setbacks, Ms. Dunlap continued to work with her counselor and RSB Job 
Development Specialist, Sharon Silverstein. Ms. Dunlap's previous work 
experience operating machines, packaging, and assembly lines, lead her to 
choose the vocational goal of factory worker. RSB collaborated with job 
development specialists from community partner, Community Employment 
Incorporated. 

The partnership between Ms. Dunlap, RSB, and Community Employment resulted 
in her participating in two trial work experiences before ultimately being offered a 
position at Weissman Design for Dance. She began employment in December 
2010 and says that she "can't wait to get up for work now." When she began 
working she lived in a shelter, but was soon able to find a home. She is working 40 
hours per week and takes public transportation to get to work. 

Ms. Dunlap works on the assembly line and is responsible for ensuring the 
accuracy of costume sizes before sending products further down the line for 
completion. She says that "speed is everything" in her work and that "150 other 
machines and workers are waiting on me to complete each costume." RSB 
purchased new glasses, magnifiers, and a talking watch to assist Ms. Dunlap with 
completing assignments in a timely manner. Her counselor encouraged the use of 
large print to keep track of changes in job duties. 

Ms. Dunlap said she tells anyone who is experiencing vision loss that "they can do 
anything." She appreciates the services she has received, and feels that she has 
found a sense of purpose again. 



*/ cannot thinhjofany way in which <KS<B couCd improve. They exceeded my expectations. * 

2011 <R£(B CCient 



20 



201 1 ANNUAL REPORT 



Vision for the Future 




The Vision Statement for RSB reads: 

An organization of highly skilled and professional staff at all levels who through 
their synergism create a dynamic agency that is a State and National leader in 
rehabilitation for individuals with blindness. 

As RSB strives to create opportunities for the personal and vocational success of 
blind or visually impaired clients, the SRC believes that with the proper training, 
alternative skills and assistive technology, those individuals who are blind can be 
vocationally, socially and economically competitive. 

The SRC will continue to work cooperatively with RSB to improve the services 
offered to meet what we consider to be the unique rehabilitation needs of clients 
with visual disabilities. The following top five strategic priorities were developed by 
the SRC to ensure ongoing success for visually impaired Missourians: 

1 . Promote the full inclusion, participation, and integration of Missouri blind and 
severely visually impaired in the economic, social, cultural and educational 
mainstream of society. 

2. Through the SRC's' advisory capacity assure that appropriate education 
and rehabilitation services increase the employment rate of blind and visually 
impaired in Missouri. 

3. Promote and assure the continuation of specialized vocational rehabilitation 
services to Missouri consumers who are blind and severely visually 
impaired through specially trained professional staff with unique skills and 
knowledge of blindness. 

4. In partnership with RSB, develop, agree to, and review the annual state goals 
and priorities of RSB in preparation of the state plan and evaluate the 
effectiveness of services. 

5. In partnership with RSB, conduct a statewide comprehensive needs 
assessment to determine the unmet rehabilitation needs of blind and severely 
visually impaired in Missouri. 



21 



(District 'Map 




RSB Administrative Office 

615 Howerton Ct, PO Box 2320 

Jefferson City, MO 65102-2320 

800-592-6004, option 9 

573-751-4249 

Fax 573-526-4984 

Mark Laird, Deputy Director 

Michael St. Julien, Assistant Deputy Director 

www.dss.mo.gov/fsd/rsb/index.htm 



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